Adventures bikes are fast gaining popularity and interest from touring enthusiasts, and it’s easy to see why. This class of bikes is like the SUV of the two-wheel world because they do everything, making them the most practical motorcycle segment. While touring can be done on any bike, adventure bikes come with extra comfort, performance, and versatility, making long-haul rides more enjoyable. And, unlike modern SUVs, they are actually fun to take off-roading. Also, besides cruisers and sports tourers, ADVs are as comfortable as you will get on the pavement.
The motorcycle market is flooded with incredible options, and top manufacturers are constantly refreshing old models while releasing new products into the market in an attempt to outdo each other. This competition is good news for riders seeking the ADV experience. Regardless of the level of experience, riding needs, or budget, there is an ADV option for everyone. Here’s our pick of the best adventure bikes to buy in 2022.
10 Kawasaki KLR 650
Kawasaki has been producing the KLR 650 since 1987, and after a three-model year absence, they are bringing back the dual-sport-cum adventure bike for 2022. The much-loved mid-size ADV comes back with many updates that will undoubtedly reignite interest in the affordable, multipurpose bike segment.
The old 40mm Keihin constant velocity carburetor is no more, as Kawasaki has added an EFI to feed the 652cc dual-counterbalanced engine. This is not the fanciest bike out there, but it is one of the most capable overland machines you can buy. It is a great beginner bike choice, offering top-class comfort, durability, and reliability.
9 Aprilia Tuareg 660
The Tuareg 660 is the newest arrival into the ADV market and Aprilia’s way back into the adventuring fold. This, alongside Harley-Davidson’s Pan America, is bound to shake up this segment. The Italian brand was heavily involved in the Dakar Rally in the ’80s and ’90s, with icons like the Tuareg Wind 600. This new model follows in the same footsteps and promises to stiffen the competition in the middleweight ADV market, which is already the hottest dual-purpose motorcycling segment.
The bike weighs 410 pounds, packs Aprilia’s latest 660cc parallel twin engine, and features plenty of tech goodies. It is one to look out for, and Tuareg’s latest reviews are strongly positive.
8 KTM 390 Adventure
KTM are kings in the ADV segment, with many adventure riders piloting their KTMs worldwide. KTM’s dominance of the Dakar Rally with 18 consecutive wins since 2001 shows they know their stuff. The KTM 390 is their entry-level model, and it is a winner in the segment. It features a liquid-cooled 737.2cc single-cylinder engine, the same one on the naked sibling, the KTM 390 duke.
With 43hp, there is plenty of power to navigate any terrain, yet not too scary for newer riders. Also, at 379lbs, the bike is quite easy to get up to speed.
7 Yamaha Tenere 700
In just its fourth model year, the Tenere 700 has already built a reputation as a big bike built for the dirt. It seemed to have fixed the problems facing big adventure bikes. It is 454 pounds compared to the larger 575-pound Super Tenere. And the difference in weight is glaring, as it feels manageable and unintimidating compared to similar-sized Advs. Also, it is quick, with smooth power delivery from the liquid-cooled 689cc parallel twin. Yamaha threw in a pair of Brembo brakes to increase your confidence.
The Yamaha T7 is also reasonably priced with a $9,999 sticker, and you are guaranteed a capable off-road performer.
6 Husqvarna Norden 901
Another arrival of brand-new entries in the ADV segment is Husqvarna’s first road-going adventure bike. Since KTM owns the brand, it is no surprise the Norden 901 shares lots of DNA with KTM’s 890 Adventure bikes, including the 889cc parallel twin. This engine is lightweight and a performer beyond the adventure world, as it is proven to work both on the asphalt and the dirt, as evident with the 890 Duke naked bike and 8RC racer.
However, the rally-inspired Norden 901 differentiates from its KTM cousins by having longer suspension travel with 215mm and 220mm than KTM’s 200mm. The bike comes with traction control, a quick shifter, cornering ABS, and a massive 19L tank for an extended range.
5 Triumph Tiger 1200
After years of anticipation and several teasers released, Triumph finally unveiled the all-new Tiger 1200. It is the bigger sibling to the Tiger 800 and is tasked with dethroning BMW’s R1250 GS for the big adventure class crown. The new 1160cc triple motor borrows from the Speed Triple RS architecture produced 147hp and 96lb-ft of torque, with loads of power available in the midrange revs.
Interestingly, the Tiger 1200 comes in five trims, starting with the stripped-back GT, a better-equipped GT Pro, and the large-tanked GT Explorer for road-oriented options. There are the Rally Pro and the Rally Explorer options for off-road biased customers.
4 Honda Africa Twin
For the 2022 model year, Honda has implemented revolutionary changes in the new Africa Twin. The bike now comes in four trims, including the standard model and the Adventure Sports ES, with both having a DCT option. This DCT is now much more refined, with improvements in shifting in the lower gears.
All trims come with a rear cargo platform exclusive to Adventure Sport ES in the previous models. The bike is also lighter than ever, and its electronic suit received significant upgrades, like the six-axis inertial platform placed at the bike’s center of gravity. It helps monitor roll, pitch, and yaw angles in real-time. Extra goodies include four preset modes, active suspension, and damping.
3 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R
2022 is truly a year of redesigns, seeing KTM has undertaken a top-to-bottom redesign for their new 1290 Super Adventure R model. Top of the substantial list of upgrades is a new frame with a longer swingarm and a full suite of electronics aimed at keeping the rider safe while allowing as much fun as you let it.
The new three-part tank stores fuel much lower than before, thus lowering the center of gravity and hence better handling, more so off-road. The seat is also half an inch lower, and also, the bike weighs lighter than the previous model. These might seem trivial changes, but they now put this bike in a better position to compete with BMW’s GS.
2 Ducati DesertX
Ducati has offered the Multistrada bike for a while now, and while it is a top ADV performer that has built up a loyal cult fan base for its ballistic engine and premium road handling, it has not always been the best performer off-road. Yes, the Enduro trim is a capable off-roader, but Ducati decided to go all out into the dirt with the new rally-styled DesertX.
The Ducati DesertX is powered by a 110hp version of the 937cc L-Twin engine from the Multistrada V2. However, the package is light, weighing 492 pounds, which clearly targets the middleweight segment. The retro-styled bike is also Ducati’s first modern model with 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels. This will be a sturdy, simple, minimalist, and capable adventure bike if all goes Ducati’s way.
1 BMW R1250GS
BMW’s first-ever ADV kicked off this segment over four decades ago. They have remained strong contenders for best in class through the years, and the latest model is even better. Even though it hasn’t undergone radical changes like its KTM rival, BMW did small touch-ups on the new bike that retained the previous mechanical and tech specs. However, that’s a good thing since the last model has been great so far.
The bike’s 1254cc boxer engine punches out 136hp and 105lb-ft of torque, enough to navigate the toughest terrains while keeping up with anyone on the tarmac.
Motorcycles are made for so much more than just straight-line acceleration, but at the end of the day, that is one of the most fun things ever.
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